Residents urged to use caution during unpredictable weather
In the last five days, the City of Dallas’ Fire Rescue Professionals have performed eight water rescues. But the most telling numbers of the last five days don’t involve boats, a lake or swift water. Since last Friday, some 900 major, minor and motorcycle accidents have occurred in Dallas along with 100 utility wire incidents.
Motor vehicle accidents and utility wire incidents occur at a higher rate during periods of heavy rain and storms, according to Dallas Fire-Rescue’s Public Information Officer, Jason Evans. Making a plan to operate a motor vehicle in the rain is just as important as preparing to drive in snow or icy conditions.
Heavy rains make the roads slippery, limits visibility for all motorists, and can surface quickly, leaving minimal time to react. Some of the most common dangers linked to driving in the rain include:
- Driver perceptions can be altered due to rain
- Aquaplaning: a reduction in the traction of tires due to wet roads that causes a vehicle to glide along the film of water on the roadways
- Stopping and started quickly is very difficult in rainy weather
- Area road congestion mixed with rain increases the likelihood of a traffic collision
The following are some of the most important tips for driving during heavy rains on area roads:
- Use the brake much slower than in normal weather, expect longer brake times
- Always keep headlights on in the rain
- Allow for extra travel time
- Remain in the middle lane as much as possible
- Avoid large puddles
- Never use cruise control, makes vehicles hydroplane
- Defog windows before you begin driving
- Lightly tap on the brakes when driving through a puddle in unavoidable
- If vehicle is hydroplaning, ease up on the gas and steer straight, do not hit the brake or turn the wheel
- Use the car in front of you as a guide and follow their path
Residents are also urged to keep a portable emergency supply kit in their vehicle that will assist in a speedy evacuation should flooding and high water necessitate.
A list of suggested emergency supply kit items can be found at: http://dps.texas.gov/dem/Preparedness/emerSupplyKits.htm